Microsoft Cooking up an App Store of its Own; Skymarket for Windows Mobile

Not that we fault them, but it looks like it didn’t take Microsoft long to look over Apple’s App Store conquest and realize it’s not such a bad idea after all. Google has no problems with mimicking Apple’s format so why should Microsoft? In fact, though Apple hardly invented the repository model we wish all handsets made use of it as well as the iPhone does. Maybe Symbian will be next in line with a sorely needed overhaul to its Download! offering. In any event, with Windows Mobile 7 will come the Microsoft Skymarket – an on-device marketplace where users can browse,  purchase and download applications and games over the air. It should be interesting to see how Skymarket will source its content. After all, there are already around 20,000 applications available for Windows Mobile devices and it would be quite a chore to pipe them all through Skymarket at launch. Perhaps a selection process a la Nokia Software Market will come into play where Nokia decides which Symbian applications are “worthy” in an effort to weed out the junk. It doesn’t always work but there is no question it helps. Just compare Nokia’s sales portal to the video ringtone / flash animation-infested pages of Handango’s S60 section and see for yourself. But we digress. In the end, the repository model means easier access for users, more revenue for developers and less cake for Handango. We can’t say any of those are bad things. Hopefully Microsoft will take this opportunity to learn from Apple’s offering and iron out the kinks a bit to put together a better product as opposed to a straight copy. First and foremost, we have two words for you Microsoft: Trial versions.

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